Antonio Conte has called on Chelsea fans to give former Blues boss Jose Mourinho a good reception on Sunday when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge.
After leading Chelsea to the English Premier League title last two seasons, Mourinho was fired by the London club following a string of poor results.
The former Real Madrid manager will hope to secure United’s first win against Chelsea in seven meetings when both teams clash on Sunday.
And ahead of the big clash, Conte described Mourinho as an important part of Chelsea’s success.
“Jose Mourinho was an important man for Chelsea and wrote part of the club’s history. He deserves a good reception on Sunday, I have great respect for Mourinho,” Conte said in his press conference on Friday.
Conte said Chelsea fans have a big part to play on Sunday against United, while singling out the one player his team must be wary of.
“It will be a tactical game on Sunday but the fans have a big part to play and can be an advantage,” the former Juventus boss added.
“We must pay attention to the whole Manchester United team, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic in particular.”
Conte expressed confidence that he will see a better performance from his players compared to their outings against Arsenal and Liverpool, both of which Chelsea lost..
“I want to see progress on Sunday compared with the Liverpool and Arsenal games and I am confident I will.”
Conte added that his former player at Juve, Paul Pogba, had always wanted to go back to United.
“Pogba’s dream was to return to Manchester United. I wish him well but only after the game.”
On the injury front, Conte revealed that John Terry will be available,
He also revealed that Kurt Zouma will be back in training next week while the duo of Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas are ruled out of the game against United due to injury.
“John Terry is in good shape and has been training well with the team. His ankle problem is solved. He is available for Sunday,” Conte added.
“I hope to have Fabregas and Ivanovic back soon from minor muscle injuries. And I hope to have Zouma in full training next week.”
And on whether Willian and Oscar who were on compassionate leave will feature this weekend, Conte said: “Willian came back on Thursday and has had two training sessions. I’m yet to decide on his availability.
“Similar to Oscar who went to Brazil due to the death of his grandfather. It is important to consider all aspects.”